Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Most Unlikely Headline of the Year: "Bush takes responsibility"

Bush takes responsibility for invasion intelligence
"It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," Bush said during his fourth and final speech before Thursday's vote for Iraq's parliament. "As president I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. And I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities. And we're doing just that."
Right. You know, this is why war should be approached as a final option. Not just saying "final option", as empty lip-service, but actually as a last option. As in first pursuing all other possibilities of resolving the problem. Like diplomacy. Like building a consensus among your allies -- like Canada, France, Germany, Japan, etc. Also, by listening to the voices who said the goddamned pre-war intelligence was inaccurate, and digging deeper for the facts.

Rather than maligning Joe Wilson and "outing" his CIA wife. Rather than casting responsible dissenters as traitors. Rather than dictating to allies. Rather than launching a pre-emptive war most clear-minded people knew was a mistake from the outset.

But this sort of conversation takes many things for granted -- too many things. It supposes that George W. Bush, and America by extension, gives a shit. It supposes that the war in Iraq was launched for the reasons listed by BushCo in the media. It supposes that Saddam Hussein's maggot-ridden hide is worth more than a hundred thousand lives (and counting). Shit, I don't believe Saddam Hussein is worth the flesh hanging on his bones.

George W. Bush taking "responsibility" at this late date is like the captain of the Titanic saying, "Whoops, I guess I shouldn't have gone full-speed into that region of icebergs," as the frozen north Atlantic waters crashed through the windows of the ship's bridge.

America lost its soul in Vietnam, lost its mind in Watergate, and now slouches across the earth like a zombified behemoth with sun-whitened eyes, insensate, seeking an elephant graveyard. Good luck finding that. I hope you don't take too many more tens of thousands of lives with you before you do.

18 comments:

FLY said...

"a zombified behemoth with sun-whitened eyes, insensate, seeking an elephant graveyard."

Cool! We're kinda like a space age woolly mammoth with a GDP ten times that of Canada!

"more than a hundred thousand lives (and counting)." How did you come up with that number?

Reality Check: Iraqi voter addresses war critics Video.

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

And of course a large GDP is synonymous with having a large heart, a large reserve of compassion, etc. America's massive GDP shows you exactly where the country's priorities are -- the almighty dollah.

The 100,000 deaths figure? It wasn't reported on FauxNews, that's for sure. It was reported by Sarah Boseley, health editor of England's The Guardian more than a year ago -- 10/29/04 "About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces, according to the first reliable study of the death toll from Iraqi and US public health experts."

But as George W. Bush doubtless said whenever he reviewed the dropping numbers of any of his failing businesses in the past: "What's in a number?"

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Oh, and considering America has ten times the population of Canada, your GDP being ten times larger than ours is not a surprise, nor a blow to any egos on this side of the wire -- nor much to boast about. But American conservatives have so little to celebrate at this moment, I guess you grope for what you can.

FLY said...

America spends more money in helping foreign countries in one month than Canada does in a whole year.

Yeah, as if Canadians are'nt screaming for change after Martin's corrupt Liberal Government imploded last month.

By the way, you might want to start practicing "The Pledge of Allegiance" just in case Canadians vote in favor of annexation one day: 20% of Canada: Lets join the USA!

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

The American inferiority complex: "Love us" or "Fear us". I feel neither.

I'll leave that ridiculous "pledge" to you pith-helmeted bullet heads, all so united in the fear of your own shadows.

FLY said...

Hey, I think you may have watched a few too many re-runs of Monty Python. Pith helmets where last used by England maybe 100 years ago.

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Well, I'll take that about the pith helmet, though I used it more in a figurative sense than anything else.

My harsh tone on the subject of George W. Bush and his wars arises from the fact that the man proved a coward (meaning he couldn't rise to the supposed loftiness of his convictions) during the Vietnam war; couldn't even fulfill his Champagne Corp obligation. Sure, Dan Rather got discredited on phony documentation regarding this matter, but that doesn't mean Bush didn't balk and bail. He did. It's just that Rather's questionable journalistic instincts finally caught up to him. Bush was violently in favor of the Vietnam war, but did everything he could to avoid serving in it.

And now he's got two foreign wars on the go and is treating the American military like a mob of armed pizza delivery boys; risking their lives in the most cynical manner.

So, my tone comes from the fact that I find war abhorrent, and George W. Bush has entered into it with the smirking bravado of someone entering a pie-eating contest -- actually, entering others into a pie-eating contest, so's not to muss himself with the messiness of the mission.

I correspond with a soldier in Iraq. I've sent over packages of books and movies to soldiers. I support the troops entirely. Because of that steadfast support, I'm disgusted with the cynical crusty old white men who sent them all into harm's way based on intelligence everyone knew was bullshit (to use Colin Powell's assessment of the material he was given for his infamous debacle before the U.N. in February 2003).

America has run amok. Blind faith in blind leaders is leading toward disaster at home and overseas.

Since a major "failure of imagination" occurs every 24 months under George W. Bush (9/11, the response to Hurriance Katrina), I bristle to think about what's coming down the pike with Bush's poll number dropping like the mercury in a Thunder Bay thermometer.

And all the good, honest people who are going to suffer in order to shore up Bush's, and by extension, the GOP's, popularity. The only ace they have is a frightened populace. But fear is not static, it must be stoked and re-ignited. Orange alerts aren't cutting that any more.

***

On an unrelated note -- I absolutely cannot wait to vote the arrogant bastard, Paul Martin, out of office in January. The fact that his government imploded proves the Canadian system (which has so many goddamned flaws) does, in fact, work. Best of all, we don't have blackbox voting here. It's the old stubby golf course pencil and paper ballet. As it ought to be in a democracy.

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

America spends more money in helping foreign countries in one month than Canada does in a whole year.

Yeah, I could never reconcile America's foreign aid commitments to its inhuman foreign policy. Then I read a book called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, and it all suddenly made sense.

And again, if your numbers are correct that would mean America spends 12 times what Canada does on foreign aid. Given the fact that the U.S. has ten times the population of Canada, the number is about proportionate -- not the economic zinger you seem to think it is.

Ascendantlive said...

the fly : talking smack about Canada doesn't make W. a good guy. And America has shit-tons of money, so what? 20% of Americans are still below the poverty line. And simply because America is a rich super-power doesn't mean Bush is always right.
But then as far as I know America is still the only country to drop bombs from one plane and food from another right behind it.

FLY said...

USA: "We do Guns and Butter right" (TM).

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

This is not freedom

FLY said...

Au Contraire,

The article refers to "Tests" on "some Diebold voting machines" and does not allege that tampering with vote results actually occurred any where. The leap from "tests" to vote fraud is made in weak minds susceptable to propaganda.

Mr. Ascendantlive,

"America is still the only country"

Consider the life of Afghan women before and after the US invasion there. Not to mention the more recent 70% voter turnout in Iraq, allowing Iraqi women to have a voice. President Bush took decisive action that resulted in freedom for millions of oppressed people.

So, what is your point?

Ascendantlive said...

My point was that redirecting the argument and talking smack about Canada doesn't change anything. We can compare the U.S. to any country in the world and make arguments about why the U.S. is better. But that doesn't mean America can do no wrong.
And bty, when the CIA initially armed the Afgans against the Soviets they used the 'freedom for everyone' and 'Democracy rules!' lines then too. The whole situation may very well turn out for the best, maybe Bhagdad will even be a nice place to visit in 30 years or so since it is one of the oldest cities around. But that still doesn't change the fact that the President misled the American people, or that a lot of people died and are still dying. I'm happy that 70% of Iraqis voted and that their country seems to be stabilizing. I'm unhappy that it cost thousands of lives and a trillion or so dollars.

FLY said...

With the exception of "Bush lied", I agree with you 10,000%. More: SIGINT recently declassified by NSA.

Ascendantlive said...

Interesting parellells on the SIGINT story. And no, we can't prove without a doubt that Bush intentionally lied. But I did have a problem with the wording of many of his speeches at the time, words like 'evil doers', and 'terrorists','freedom haters',
and other predjudicial and dehumanizing terms. He definatly used peoples fear to rally public support for the war. Granted that's nothing new. The news media does it every day and three times as bad. But I just think the President should be above such things, but he wasn't. Bush seemed one step away from shouting 'God is on our side!' That is part of what I mean when I say 'misled the American people'.

FLY said...

It's no secret that President Bush is sometimes not the eloquent public speaker he no doubt would like to be 100% of the time. With the possible exception of former Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton, who is?

I personally believe that Bush is being authentic when he speaks in terms of God vs. "Evil doers". And probably prefers to speak off the cuff rather from a carefully written speech. Conversely, lots of conservatives cringed when Bush said of Al-Queda: "those Folks want to kill us".

"Folks" brings to mind some charity bake sale in the local Town Hall auditorium. Definitely not scary enough.

Robert F. Walsh said...

While I vehemently disagree with the assumption that AMERICANS have "blind faith in blind leaders," I don't think anyone can disagree with Bush's ineptitude. His refusal to acknowledge existing Department of Defense projections for the length of occupation and the troops necessary (Paul Wolfowitz's own testimony to House Budget Committee on 2/27/2003 and House Appropriations Committee a month later, Richard Clarke's reports on public record, General Shineki's 2/25/2003 testimony to the Armed Services Committee, Congressional Research Service documents regarding CPA, etc.) was such a monumnetal embarrassment that he finally HAD to accept responsibility... two years too late.

His morally reprehensible reliance on Karl Rove & Friends has indeed tarnished our image to the world. However, most Americans are committed to the principles upon which this country was founded, regardless of who sits in the White House. I make no apologies for our people nor our dedication to helping make this planet a better place.

I hope like hell we elect a wiser President in 2008, but our series of checks and balances has already begun to result in changes to the existing government.

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

I will display my contrarian creditentials in full before you now:

... as I argue that I believe George W. Bush is, in fact, a highly competent politician.

He needed to be elected president in order to enact his radical rightwing agenda. So, he hired the right people who in turn hired Atlanta GA company ChoicePoint, which made it possible for him to steal the 2000 election for him. This is documented fact as solid as the Law of Gravity: see the documentaries Counting on Democracy and Bush Family Fortunes, among countless other articles, books, and documentaries.

W. became a squatter in the oval office with the fully formed intent of invading Iraq. However, he needed a cataclysm on par with the Pearl Harbor attack in order to motivate public will to support him. Pakistan and the CIA took care of that for him on 9/11.

W. also came onto the scene looking to make the world safer for billionaires and corporations. He's done that in spades.

As far as enacting his agenda, I would rate George W. Bush among the most successful presidents in U.S. history.

It's just too bad the man is cancer on wheels.